Changing Minds About Climate Change: Belief Revision, Coherence, and Emotion

  • Paul ThagardEmail author
  • Scott Findlay
Part of the Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science book series (LEUS, volume 21)


This chapter shows that belief revision about global warming can be modeled by a theory of explanatory coherence that has previously been applied to many cases of scientific belief change. We present a computer simulation of how current evidence supports acceptance of important conclusions about global warming on the basis of explanatory coherence. In addition, we explain resistance to these conclusions using a computational model of emotional coherence, which shows how political and economic goals can bias the evaluation of evidence and produce irrational rejection of claims about global warming. Finally, we argue that explanatory coherence gives a better account of belief revision than major alternatives including logicist and Bayesian theories.


Global Warming Belief Revision Belief Change Coherence Relation Negative Constraint 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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